Zimbabwe’s only female presidential candidate was forced to drink bottle water


United Zimbabwe Alliance leader and president Elisabeth Valerio has highlighted the service delivery plight that many Zimbabweans, particularly those in rural areas, continue to face.

Valerio, who is the only female candidate contesting the Presidential race ahead of the Zimbabwe elections on August 23, took to Facebook on Monday morning where she wrote about her campaign trail and the difficulty of accessing clean water in some parts of the country.

“As I turned on the tap to brush my teeth. Bits and pieces flew from the pipes as the slow trickle of water choked and spluttered. Turning the tap off, I resolved to use bottled water instead – but couldn’t stop thinking of everyone drinking from these faucets daily. #Water became a recurring theme on this day. We later stopped in a small town to find food. It was there that we ran into men from #ZINWA. I couldn’t help but to remind them that it was their responsibility to make sure that every citizen has access to safe drinking water and to this they confessed that water really isn’t available. One day we will fix it, they said. “Maybe mama when you are in office,” she wrote.

Valerio also said councillors were keen to resolve water issues once they are in office.

Elisabeth Valerio speaks to an elderly man while on her campaign trail. Picture: Facebook/Elisabeth Valerio

Meanwhile, Valerio is set to go up against incumbent President and Zanu-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, Citizens for Coalition Change leader and Zimbabwe’s former Minister of Information Communication Technology Nelson Chamisa, among others but experts indicate that this is likely to be a two-horse race between Chamisa and Mnangagwa.

MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora, on the other hand, also remains in the presidential race despite an attempt to withdraw.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) confirmed that it had received a request from Mwonzora to withdraw from the race but that this was too late to do so.

“…Section 107 of the Electoral Act allows presidential candidates to withdraw their candidature by way of a written notice to the Chief Elections Officer no later than 21 days from polling day.

Any attempts to withdraw one’s candidature after the stipulated period will not be recognised by the law hence one’s name will remain on the ballot paper.

The Commission would also like to categorically refute allegations by the MDC T president that ZEC denied the right for some of its members to be nominated as candidates for the upcoming elections. The Commission complied with provisions of the law and its decision was upheld by the courts in that regard,” the Commission said in a statement.